Home' Clinical Aesthetics : CA issue - 3 Contents BUSINESS
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN ... CONSIDER THE RAMIFICATIONS IF YOU GOT OUT OF PRACTICE
Protecting yourself and your business
from legal action by patients is the focus of
insurance for medical practices. But have
you stopped to think what would happen if
you didn’t insure yourself?
You have worked hard and invested
time and money heav ily to become a highly
qualified medical professional.
As a result of your work, on a daily basis
you come into contact with risk situations
that could leave you unable to practice short
term, indefinitely – or forever. For instance:
• A patient’s blood, either v ia a needlestick
accident or transference through skin
cuts or other injuries, leaves you exposed
to diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
• An accident could leave you with injuries
that prevent you from performing
surgery or the fine art of administering
inject ables, by which you make your living.
Where does this leave you and your
family, your practice and staff? How would
you cope financially? Would you have
enough money to continue to meet your
mortgage repayments and living expenses,
as well as the upkeep of your practice?
“ The reality of, say, contracting a blood-
borne disease in your profession is that
- although you may be physically capable of
performing your occupational duties – you
may be prohibited under the professional
award from performing invasive medical
procedures,” says Nolan Goldstein,
principal and risk adviser at Protect365, a
premier risk specialist brokerage that assists
in protecting doctors’ f inancial legacy.
“ We understand that medical
professionals face unique risks in the
workplace every day. We know your ability
to earn an income is your most valuable
financial asset and worth protecting.
“With so much at risk have you
considered who would pay your bills, if
your income stopped suddenly?
“ We are brokers for medical
professionals offering a range of
comprehensive insurance options; tailored
solutions in order to protect your income
and business, your family and lifestyle and
“In addition, we to help protect and
achieve your financial goals w ith services
such as life, trauma and TPD insurance,
income protection, “key man” and business
expenses insurance, business succession
(buy/sell) insurance, and needlestick cover.”
RISK REDUCTION REMINDERS
The following can help manage risk:
• Assess if the patient appears to understand
the information being provided. Address
any language, cultural or cognitive
barriers to good communication.
• Discuss their concern with them and
your assessment of the likely outcome of
treatment. If, for instance, they suffer
from severe melasma and you have doubts
that the treatment will be successful
(at least, as successful as the patient
is hoping), share this uncertainty, the
reason for it, and what possibilities are
being considered for treatment.
• Discuss the proposed treatment,
including the risks (eg. in the instance
of melasma, of causing loss of, or even
deeper pigmentation) in clear and
understandable language. Inform
patients about other reasonable options
for treatment and related risks.
• Inform patients if part or all of a
treatment is to be delegated to members
of staff other than you.
• Ask patients if they have any concerns.
Give them the opportunity to ask
questions. A nswer the questions and
assess that they appear to understand.
• Even when patients wave aside all
explanations or seem prepared to submit
to the procedure or treatment without
discussion, explain that the risks should
still be discussed.
• Print material, videos and other handouts
can all support the consent discussion but
do not replace it.
• Document the consent discussion in
your records in a timely manner. Written
consents are preferable in situations
involving ongoing treatments, and
where there are more-than-average risks
with a cosmetic procedure. The failure
to adequately document the consent
discussion is a recurring theme in
COSMEDIC.COM.AU (DR FLYNN);
26 | CLINICAL AESTHETICS
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